Takeda is expanding further into the emerging market of Latin America after launching a sales and marketing headquarters in Lima, Peru.

The Japanese company already has a direct presence in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. Peru is the latest country in the company’s plans to further expand its footprint in the region.

Norbert Oppitz, senior vice president, Latin America, at Takeda, said: “This investment demonstrates our commitment to Latin America and its growth potential.” He said the launch of the subsidiary will enable the company to meet the diverse healthcare needs of the population, while the strong product pipeline gives the firm a good starting point.

According to IMS Market Prognosis, pharmaceutical sales in Latin America totalled $60 billion in 2012 and are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12.5% between 2013 and 2017. Takeda plans to outgrow the market over the same period.

Peru itself is expected to grow by 8% during 2013 with pharmaceutical sales worth $1.5 billion in 2012.

In line with Takeda’s emerging markets strategy, Takeda Peru is building a product portfolio based on the medical needs of the population, focusing on gastroenterology, cardiology, metabolism, oncology and respiratory diseases. The company will initially focus on Zurcal (pantoprazole), Riopan (magaldrate/dimeticone), Faktu (policresulen cinchocaine hydrochloride). The company will also launch products from its existing portfolio over time.

Julio Cesar Acevedo Orrego has been appointed country manager for Peru. He joins from Takeda Colombia, where he headed the Takeda sales and marketing organisation following the acquisition of Farmacol Laboratories.

Meanwhile, the company’s bowel drug vedolizumab has been found to achieve clinical remission in approximately 40% of ulcerative colitis patients, compared with 15.9% of those on placebo, and has helped Crohn’s patients reach remission after a year of treatment